Saturday, September 11, 2010

A grudge worth bearing?

I had no friends or relatives in the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon or flights 11, 77, 93 or 175. But I have been affected.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee...
Which is John Donne's way of saying that the disaster nine years ago was not an attack on America or even on the West. It was an attack on mankind.

Cultural Offering makes and defends the simple and powerful statement that this is a grudge worth holding.

Rudyard Kipling takes a dim view of grudges: "being hated, not give way to hating" is his advice to his son. This is not just virtuous and Christian: it is intensely practical. Enmity and fear are like entropy: they grow naturally. The longer we allow ourselves to hate our neighbour, the dearer the final reckoning.

So somewhere we must find the strength to take our lumps and carry on building a better world as best we can.

While we celebrate the lives of the victims and grieve that they were cut short.